Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, warned the public not to be fooled by today’s budget. He said that there would be a number of election ‘gundus’ therein.
“The Finance Minister has already said that he wants to promote open market policies and liberalisation. This is the ideology of the government. They know they are unpopular and that an election is coming soon and, therefore, they will also provide some concessions. Don’t be fooled by it.”
The Ranil Wickremesinghe administration had ruined the economy and it was in no position to sustain subsidies after the next election, Rajapaksa said, adding that “Investment in health, education and agriculture has dropped sharply during the last four years and the economic growth has fallen below 4%.”
“This kind of downturn hadn’t happened even during the war. The economy is stagnant and given the circumstances the government can’t give subsidies to the people in the long run. They will either have to get more loans or tax the people. So don’t be fooled by the promises of these people.”
Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the media on Sunday that the 2019 budget would be called an ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ budget. “We are not going to give handouts. We are helping people to help themselves. We are giving them fishing rods instead of the fish.”
(Source: The Island – By Norman Palihawadana)